2015 Competition winners: Earth, Air, Fire & Water

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2015 Competition Winner: Phoebe from Cornwallis Academy, Maidstone


Congratulations to Phoebe, a year 9 student from Cornwallis Academy in Maidstone, who is the winner of my Textiles bunting competition. Also thanks go to Gail Rawlins, Phoebe's teacher for her support for Phoebe's work. 

With over 250 entries, choosing a winner for the competition was even harder this year. As well as an increase in the number of entries, the overall standard of entries was even higher than the previous year, adding to the challenge for the judges to select a winner. 

Phoebe’s work stood out because of its creative and unusual interpretation of the theme which was The Elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. In particular the judges were looking for interpretations of the theme that weren’t too literal but that used the mood, colours and feel of the theme to inspire the work. 

Phoebe’s use of layered buttons was particularly effective, giving her work a very tactile quality. She used buttons from her nan’s button box, although her grandad has a phobia of buttons so he probably isn’t a great fan of her work!

Phoebe's use of colour was also effective, and to top it off she also had a clever additional touch by adding a scented filling to her triangle. The quality of the work was also excellent and another key factor in the choice of her as the winner. 

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Presenting The Prize

Phoebe and her teacher being being presented with the embellisher machine Phoebe has won for her school. 


Phoebe receiving her own goodie bag full of prizes which included a sketchbook and drawing materials, a textiles equipment kit, a sewing book, and lots of other textiles related smaller prizes. 


Click on the video link below to see Phoebe and her teacher talking about winning the competition

The Prize!

Phoebe won a Huskystar/Pfaff Embellisher Machine for her school which normally normally retails for £249. She also won a big bag of prizes for herself. 

  • An embellisher looks like an ordinary sewing machine and works in a similar way but it has a very different function. Instead of sewing stitches with thread, the 5 special barbed needles ‘mesh’ fibres, yarns & fabrics together as you stitch, in a similar way to how felting works. This allows you to create felt type fabrics quickly and easily. 
  • The machine uses no thread or bobbin and there are no fiddly dials to set - you literally just plug it in and use it
  • The machine is ideal for any age group or ability level and is great for decorating a wide variety of textiles materials or products
  • To find more out about this machine click here

HUGE thank you to Coles Sewing Centre, Nottingham & Husqvarna Viking & PFAFF who sponsored this fantastic prize. Check out the Coles Sewing Centre website or contact rose@colessewingcentre.co.uk if you are interested in this machine, or if you are interested in machine servicing or part exchange (they service any make or age of machine and are happy to travel across the country).

Coles logo

Runners Up

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2nd place: Francesca Reynolds, year 7 student at Newlands Girls School, Maidenhead (teacher Claire Dunn)


3rd Place: Abbey Lewis, year 9 student at William Brookes School, Shropshire (teacher Liz Hoyle)

Abbey Lewis

Highly Commended prizes went to the following entries (listed in no particular order)

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Alasdair Jukes, year 9 student at Cleethorpes Academy, Cleethorpes (teacher Tracey Herrick)

Chelsea Cridland, year 9 student at Sir Christopher Hatton Academy, Wellingborough (teacher Jessica Blencowe)

Aisha Hans, year 8 student at Madni Muslim Girls School, Dewsbury (teacher Sabahat Shah)

Miriam Azeem, year 7 student at Lawnswood School, Leeds (teacher Mrs Burdett & Mrs Tweedy)


Maymuna Hussain, Year 7 student at Light Hall School, Solihull (teacher Stephanie McLean)

Millie Newbery, year 10 student at Prince William School, Oundle (teacher Judith Richardson)

Jill Scott, year 10 student at Castleford Academy, West Yorkshire (teacher Elouise Wiggan)

Heidi Appleton, year 9 student at The Priory Academy, Lincoln (teacher Carly Atkinson)


Merit prizes went to the following entries (listed in no particular order)

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JuwairiyyahPatel, year 9 student at Madni Muslim Girls School, Dewsbury (teacher Sabahat Shah)

Danni Lynch, year 9 student at Pennine View Special School, Conisborough (teacher Mr Jones)

Maisie Edmondson, year 10 student at Cleethorpes Academy, Cleethorpes (teacher Miss Wright)

Hayley Tomkins, year 10 student at Felpham Community College, Bognor Regis (teacher Dan Woods)


Archie Stewart, year 7 student at The Peterborough School, Peterborough (teacher Rebecca Hampson)

Emma Heaney, year 10 student at Prince William School, Oundle (teacher Judith Richardson)

Fozia Shammi, year 9 student at Cleethorpes Academy, Cleethorpes (teacher Miss Wright)

Jake Lent, year 9 student at Cleethorpes Academy, Cleethorpes (teacher Miss Wright)

Libby Lynch, year 9 student at Lawnswood School, Leeds (teacher Mrs Burdett & Mrs Tweedy) 

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Outstanding School Prize 

An outstanding school prize was awarded to Cleethorpes Academy, Cleethorpes  (teachers Marie McDonagh, Tracey Herrick & Miss Wright). Although the school was  not awarded any of the top 3 prizes, 4 of their entries featured in the highly commended and merit categories (Alasdair Jukes, Jake Lent, Maisie Edmondson and Fozia Shammi). A number of the school's entries also came very close to being awarded a merit award. What was particularly impressive was the number of entries the school submitted and the consistent quality across the entries, a particular challenge considering entries were from students working with 3 different teachers. 


Other entries

With 250 entries there are too many to include here but here are just a small selection of the other entries. Can you see yours?

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Winner & runners up featured in the ‘news’ section of the July 2016 edition of Sewing World magazine

What will happen to the entries?

Many thanks to everyone who entered the competition. 

Unfortunately entries can’t be returned as they have been made into bunting strings and will be displayed at various events I am running over the next year.  Below some of the bunting can be seen on displayed at The Textiles Teacher Event held in Nottingham with 40 textiles teachers attending.

bunting hanging

Previous competition entries have also appeared in various publications and these will be posted on here if this happens. 

Aims of My Competitions

  • To raise the profile of textiles and to get people talking about it
  • To motivate young people to think about textiles and to have a go
  • To provide prizes that provide schools with resources and equipment that helps them develop their curriculum
  • To provide teachers with project ideas, homework and activities that support curriculum development
  • To develop design skills, including: working to a design brief, interpreting a design theme, using inspiration, avoiding stereotyped and literal interpretations
  • To develop making skills, including: manipulating and handling materials, use of equipment, producing quality outcomes

Return to the main competition page to see other competitions including the current one

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